New AARC project defines its plans
9 June 2015 | Amsterdam, Netherlands
Plans for work in the new AARC (Authentication and Authorisation for Research and Collaboration) project were discussed and agreed in the kick-off meeting held on 3-4 June. Around 50 people participated, representing 20 different partners among national research and education networks (NRENs), e-infrastructures, service providers and libraries. The event was organised by the lead partner, GÉANT, and hosted by Nikhef in Amsterdam, NL.
The attendees were remotely welcomed by Jean-Luc Dorel, Project Officer at the European Commission, which is funding AARC under its Horizon 2020 programme. Dorel gave an overview of the importance of federated access to date, and elaborated on the challenges for using this outside the higher education community. He also stressed the importance of a project like AARC in promoting federated access and in terms of bridging communities.
Dorel said, "The academic networks have been the pioneers of the first internet by federating connectivity resources from multiple organisations. With authentication and authorisation infrastructures, the same are in position to create the second internet, generalising access to any kind of resource: clouds, market places, repositories, collaborative virtual environments etc. By supporting cases and communities, AARC is in unique position to make this happen."
AARC will not develop new tools or research new areas in the AAI field; on the contrary, AARC will build on existing software and technology. All efforts will be focused on making the various software and hardware solutions compatible, so that one unified system can be obtained.
During the project meeting, work package leaders provided an overview of their plans. One of the first deadlines for AARC is about delivering the requirements for both training and architecture.
Project participants agreed to address the following requirements:
- to promote the benefits of federated access at decision making level;
- to improve the release of attributes by exploring attribute authorities and their policy aspects;
- to explore scalable models to offer support for guest users at a European (or even global) scale;
- to provide means to reduce the use of IP-based authentication, which is still being widely used by libraries;
- to offer a training package for service providers to be able to implement federated access.
AARC is an EC-funded project that brings together 20 different partners among national research and education networks (NRENs), e-infrastructures, service providers and libraries, to develop an integrated cross-discipline AAI (authorisation and authentication) framework, built on production and existing federated access services.